In Email Direct, recipients are known as contacts. They are managed in the Audience menu tab. Managing the Audience is available to Editor, Full, and Manager User Permission Levels (UPLs) only.

Audience categories

The categories used to send bulk emails are Segments (dynamic - auto-updated), Groups (static - not auto-updated), and Subscriptions (user-based with an opt-out option). These categories as well as the others are explained in detail below:


A single member of your audience, uniquely identified by an email address.

Contact Fields

Contact Fields are used to store and collect information about your contacts such as NetID, First Name, Last Name, Is NYU Student, Is NYU Employee, location, and more.


Segments are contact lists that are dynamic. They are updated daily with the most current information via data loads from official NYU data sources such as WorkDay and Albert (SIS).

Important notes:

  • They are created using predefined criteria that updates automatically.
    • Examples: NYU - Employees - All, NYU - Students - All, NYU Affiliates - All, etc. 
  • They can be created using your own manually created contact fields, with campaign response data, with subscription settings, or some combination of these factors.
  • Use them when targeting a specific set of contacts based on various factors.
  • Contacts will only remain in a Segment for as long as they meet the parameters you set.
  • They can be added or removed except for those that are locked.
  • Locked Segments shared by the Email Direct Team can't be edited or removed from your Subaccount.


Groups are contact lists that are static. This means that contacts’ information will not update; they remain the same as they were created.

Important notes:

  • Create them in the Groups tab or when importing contacts in the Imports tab.
  • Importing contacts with a spreadsheet file is the easiest way to organize multiple contacts even if those contacts exist already.
  • Or, edit individual contact records in the Contacts tab and select the checkbox next to the desired Group(s) to add them to.
  • Create a group with a filter to check if contacts have opened or not opened emails to identify contacts’ statuses and manage them accordingly.
  • To easily identify how current a list is, add a date or season to the Group name.
  • Group name examples: New Students Fall 2022, NYC Graduates Summer 2023, Volunteers April 1, 2023, etc.
  • Archive stale, outdated, or unused lists regularly.
  • A contact will remain in a group unless it is removed manually or archived.


Subscriptions are contact lists that are user-based meaning contacts may unsubscribe when desired. Contacts determine what content they want to receive.

Important notes:

  • A subscription-based Subaccount can have one or more Subscription lists that recipients that can choose to opt-in and opt-out.
  • They can be based on cadence (monthly vs. weekly newsletter) or content (events digest vs. internship/job opportunities).
  • Contacts can be added to Subscription lists using these methods:
    • Import and subscribe contacts directly to a list as part of the import process
    • Subscribe a Group of contacts directly to a Subscription list
    • A contact can subscribe to your list through a sign-up form
    • A contact can use the Subscription Center to opt-in to additional Subscription lists offered by that Subaccount
  • Make sure to select the appropriate Subscription list and not any Group you may have used to import and/or populate your list of subscribers when sending messages or when adding recipients. Targeting a previously imported Group may result in your message not reaching all of your subscribers.
  • Examples of Subscription names: Upcoming Events, Weekly Newsletter, Community Service, etc.

Note: This information and the tutorials below only apply to Subscription Subaccounts.


A Form or Signup Form is an online document a person fills out when one wants to start receiving emails.


A source of contact data usually in a file (accepted formats are .csv, .xls, and .xlsx) used to create contacts.

Upload Contacts

  1. Review contact fields
  2. Format data for import
  3. Import contacts

Note: if your Subaccount sends forced, essential communications you'll need to sign our Contact Upload Agreement because non-NYU email addresses aren't permitted.

Import contacts screen in Email Direct